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Seasonal Flu & H1N1: Information You Need to Know —
Wednesday, September 16, 2009 - 12 noon (EST)

Thomas A. Tallman, DO, FACEP

  • Emergency Services Institute
  • Medicine Director Disaster
  • Cleveland Clinic

This fall and winter, there will be two influenza vaccines to prepare for – seasonal flu and H1N1 (swine flu). Although the symptoms for both viruses are similar, H1N1 is a new virus. It was first detected in the United States in April and the World Health Organization declared it a pandemic two months later. Most people who have become ill with H1N1 have recovered without needing medical treatment. However, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recently declared a public health emergency regarding H1N1.

As the traditional flu season arrives this fall, Cleveland Clinic wants to keep people informed about both seasonal flu and H1N1. Currently vaccines will be available for both seasonal flu and H1N1. There are several other ways to protect yourself against flu viruses, including frequent hand washing; not touching your eyes, nose or mouth; covering your cough with tissues or coughing into your shirt rather than your hands; and staying home when you are ill.

Cleveland Clinic will begin distributing the seasonal flu vaccine in mid-September and is working to increase awareness about the vaccine. The seasonal flu vaccine is recommended for all children 6 months and older, all adults 50 years and older and women who will be pregnant during flu season. Healthcare providers, people with long-term health problems and those with weakened immune systems should also receive the vaccine.

Thomas Tallman, DO, FACEP, is Assistant Director for Cleveland Clinic Event Medicine and Medical Director for Disaster Preparedness of the Emergency Services Institute. Dr. Tallman is the Emergency Medical Technician/Paramedic Instructor and Education Director for Cleveland Clinic Basic Life Support and Advanced Cardiac Life Support training. He also serves as Chairman of Cleveland Clinic Critical Response Committee. He is board-certified in emergency medicine. He is on the Board of Directors of the Ohio chapter of the American College of Emergency Physicians and is an Oral Board Examiner of the American Board of Emergency Medicine.

This Health Chat will open on September 14, 2009 to allow you to submit questions. We will try to answer as many questions as possible during the chat. Please create an account to attend the chat and submit your questions.